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I am craving a Cattleya

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Phred

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I have never actually grown a Cattleya species. All your conversation and photos have me craving one. JUST ONE. Or a few little ones...y’all know how it is... I’m settled on Cattleya walkeriana var. coerulea ‘Choujo.’ Or am I???? Hmmm. Anybody got anything in this vein they want to sell me? A division? A compot? Or I have some nice, recently repotted 3yo fairrieanum seedlings to trade...OZ breeding...just idle thoughts to get through another pandemic winter...sigh. If this is a bad idea, feel free to talk me out of it....
Hi ButcherT
My 'specialty' for the last 25 years has been Paphiopedilum. I got my first walker about two and a half years ago. I got hooked quickly and now have about 90. Many are divisions... including walkeriana var. coerulea ‘Choujo. Since then I have been breeding and have several walker pods and several walker/mini Catt cross pods in the lab. I would highly recommend diving in head first. I may have divisions of stuff in the spring and would be happy to keep you in mind until then.
 

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Brucher, are you prepared to open Pandora’s box with just one cattleya?
I grow about 70 on various south or east facing windowsills and nearly all do great.
I don’t have a single Walker as I’ve been told they love high humidity and that is one thing I cannot offer, but others may disagree.
I grow pretty much only large flowered unifoliates species. The big three are labiata ( autumn flowers) trianae ( winter flowers) and mossiae ( spring flowers), so when do you want yours to flower?
Then there are summer flowering species like warscewiczii, dowiana, rex.
Within each species there are myriad colour forms, alba, semi alba, coerulea, rubra, aquinii etc etc it’s just a case of choosing.
If you are after special forms then cattleyas are the ones to collect. There are hundreds with prices for pockets of all depths.
The fischers’s at Orchids Limited have a nice selection of high end cattleyas on their web site if you want to start to investigate but plenty of others in the US offer divisions or mericlones, e.g. Hausermanns.
A really good place to start is Chadwic’s book ‘ the classic cattleyas’ which is just going into its second edition this Christmas. It’s on their web site. If not, look at their web pages on the individual species.
Thank you! I’m investigating!!!!
 

BrucherT

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Hi ButcherT
My 'specialty' for the last 25 years has been Paphiopedilum. I got my first walker about two and a half years ago. I got hooked quickly and now have about 90. Many are divisions... including walkeriana var. coerulea ‘Choujo. Since then I have been breeding and have several walker pods and several walker/mini Catt cross pods in the lab. I would highly recommend diving in head first. I may have divisions of stuff in the spring and would be happy to keep you in mind until then.
Aww I will definitely check back! Thank you!!!
 

southernbelle

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I have never actually grown a Cattleya species. All your conversation and photos have me craving one. JUST ONE. Or a few little ones...y’all know how it is... I’m settled on Cattleya walkeriana var. coerulea ‘Choujo.’ Or am I???? Hmmm. Anybody got anything in this vein they want to sell me? A division? A compot? Or I have some nice, recently repotted 3yo fairrieanum seedlings to trade...OZ breeding...just idle thoughts to get through another pandemic winter...sigh. If this is a bad idea, feel free to talk me out of it....
Brucher are you growing under lights or a greenhouse? In my experience cattleyas won’t bloom on windowsills. I tried for 4 years and had beautiful foliage. I bought them in bloom, then they grew well, but no blooms. I moved them into an LED grow room and had spikes in 3 weeks.
 

BrucherT

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Brucher, remember, it often starts with a cheap Phalaenopsis hybrid or two....and then.....!!!!
It did in my case - and we've heard the same story over and over again in PA (Paphioholics Anonymous)!

I also started out as a 'speciesist' - and though my preferences in general veer on that side, a few hybrids have found their way into my collection (f.ex. Paph. Lady Isobel - "but it's a cross of two of my favorite species"; Paph. Leeanum - "but it's a classic hybride"; Paph. Alexej - "I'm in general not happy with intersectional hybrids, but...."; etc. etc.)

As Catts are a new addiction for me, I haven't, yet, flowered the few walkers, I have, but they seem to grow well and thrive on my window sill. Maybe my inorganic growth medium, that contains as well waterabsorbing as waterrepelling elements, helps with the humidity issue:

View attachment 23523
I love how your plants look. What’s the medium? The pots seem large for the foliage...I am thinking I will grow tightly potted. What’s the exposure?
 

BrucherT

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Brucher are you growing under lights or a greenhouse? In my experience cattleyas won’t bloom on windowsills. I tried for 4 years and had beautiful foliage. I bought them in bloom, then they grew well, but no blooms. I moved them into an LED grow room and had spikes in 3 weeks.
I am committed to window growing at this point. I have grown and flowered Vanda coerulea and V. coerulescens, “Cattleytonia” and various cacti in these windows and I have access to outdoor growing for summer if I want. I think I can do it but...I’m also thinking about some lights in the basement for winter at some point, for my burgeoning Neofinetia problem (30 and counting, and all in my possession through last winter did flower, though the flowers on that species are not my interest; I’m a ruby root and sumi freak!).
 

BrucherT

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BrucherT is falling into a trap heheheh. It is a utopia trap ----- into the world of ....... ok .... orchids hehehehe. It is true that Brucher is already very into orchids. But it is well known about inevitability hehehe ...... the need to spread wings and expand. To ..... just .... get more! More kinds. It's cliche for sure, but orchids will do that sort of thing to people. It's a trap heheheh.....but at least it is one that we want to get stuck in. But being human and being very flexible, we always can get out of it ....... but once we're in ....... better to stay in hehehe

At first, some growers may think species are the only way to go. But many will also find out that hybrids will get them in the end. There's always at least 1 hybrid that will get them in the end. Getting deeper into the orchid 'well'. Having a combination of both hybrids and species will definitely make our days :D
This is how I ended up with this “Cattleytonia” thing. It was in woebegone shape and I spent 4 years rejuvenating it and it’s on its way to second bloom. It spent summer in a somewhat sheltered position outdoors, mostly rain watered.
 

My Green Pets

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Cattleya Brazillian Jewel is walkeriana x nobilior. Could be easier and more floriferous than the species, and primaries are very very nice.

I had only one species of Cattleya until last year, now I have 7 additional species and hybrids. Very slippery slope.
 

BrucherT

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Cattleya Brazillian Jewel is walkeriana x nobilior. Could be easier and more floriferous than the species, and primaries are very very nice.

I had only one species of Cattleya until last year, now I have 7 additional species and hybrids. Very slippery slope.
I went and looked at it and it’s wonderful! But I am really hooked on species. I never travel and my plant fetish, or at least what I fool myself into believing, is that I am nurturing a piece of the jungle. Of course I’ll end up with line-bred beauties but I’m fine with that. C. nobilior is beautiful!
 

SouthPark

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or at least what I fool myself into believing, is that I am nurturing a piece of the jungle.
You ARE nurturing a piece of the jungle!!! Or nurturing nature and looking after something that is alive. And then we get to see flowers too. I started with catts and dends and angraecum ----- and never imagined that I would eventually grow catasetum types, oncidium, vanda, cymbidium, sedirea, spathoglottis, sarcochilus, paphs and phrags and others. I love them all. Species and hybrids. But unfortunately my temperate cymbidiums apparently don't have a good chance or even much of a chance to produce flower spikes in my tropical region here hehehehe. But that is ok. I grow them anyway ----- nice leaves anyhow hehe.
 

BrucherT

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You ARE nurturing a piece of the jungle!!! Or nurturing nature and looking after something that is alive. And then we get to see flowers too. I started with catts and dends and angraecum ----- and never imagined that I would eventually grow catasetum types, oncidium, vanda, cymbidium, sedirea, spathoglottis, sarcochilus, paphs and phrags and others. I love them all. Species and hybrids. But unfortunately my temperate cymbidiums apparently don't have a good chance or even much of a chance to produce flower spikes in my tropical region here hehehehe. But that is ok. I grow them anyway ----- nice leaves anyhow hehe.
Ha I know you’re right but it goes deeper than that for me. I’m fundamentally opposed to hybridizing plants that do not have abundance in the wild. I’m angry about the abuses of the ignorant past and angry about the abuses of the knowing present. I try to keep this absurd, irrelevant horticultural morality to myself but it comes out regularly. And yet, I grow hybrids, of course. I get attached to them. They lead me back to the species whence they came.

I’m curious whether you could chill your Cymbidiums with a swamp cooler or even refrigerator? I’m currently struggling to learn to grow the grass-leaved Jensoa Cymbidiums but the reason I decided to leap into them is I brought a Cymbidium “Peter Torch Fire” (I see the name with and without the “Fire,” but everybody seems to know this plant) back from one bulb with one leaf to a first blooming for me of 58 flowers. It’s blooming again soon, just one spike this time. Anyway, I’m working on safe but low temps for my C. goeringii and C. kanran. Have you tried C. ensifolium? It seems happy to bloom in warm temps...

Have 2 Sedeira “Minmaru.” Not sure how they’re doing, supposed to be challenging; we’ll see. Any advice? Love to see how you grow.

Been looking at Angraecum lately because of success with Vanda in my windows in semi-water culture; really want this bumpy-leaved Angraecum urischianum from Madagascar... Whole new world. Ray Barkalow also got me growing some stuff in LECA and enjoying those results. Guessing you know about his magic KelpMax and K-Lite...

I sure hear you about the leaves. I love my orchid leaves. I do not accept that the plants just have to be ugly. I grow my leaves as parts of the vista of each plant and I suffer when I mess them up. Nothing prettier than my mottled Paph leaves, my beloved multiple P. purpuratum clones...last year I acquired and bloomed a seedling P. volonteanum...the flower was absolutely exquisite and lasted for nearly 4 months! But just as thrilling as that endless, luscious flower is the fact that it seems to have survived the blooming while sending up a robust new stunning growth! I always heard this species was difficult to grow, let alone bloom, and I’m cautiously optimistic about a clump of this gorgeous foliage. Toying with the idea of cutting off the next flower to stimulate more fans but not sure if I have the guts....
 

Guldal

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I love how your plants look. What’s the medium? The pots seem large for the foliage...I am thinking I will grow tightly potted. What’s the exposure?
The walkerianas grow in a window facing East-Southeast, and because I live on the 5th floor they get quite some light during spring, summer and fall, not too bad in winter either - except for bleakest midwinter, where daylight sometimes only extends to the hours between 9 am and 15-16 pm (mainly very late November to mid January).

I grow my orchids in a non-organic medium, 'Greenmix', mainly consisting of rockwool (diabas), perlite and lignite, i.e. both waterabsorbing and waterrepellent material
When properly used, in a short while, a nice layer of moss will form on top of the medium... the medium shouldn't be allowed to dry out completely, but the waterrepellent elements should allow for air and some dryness for the roots. If used the right way, my impression is, that this medium helps the windowsill grower to somewhat keep up humidity.
Interestingly, some species, that are described as needing a marked rest periode to flower, do not need this, when grown in this medium, as f.ex. the few Dendrobium, I have.
My Catts see to grow well in the medium, but the plants from this genus are still so relatively new in my possesion, that I, when it comes to them, still consider myself in an experimental phase. Allthough I have so far succeeded in blooming C. aurantiaca and bowringiana.
My Sophronitis thrive in it, Bulbos love it. All my Paphs are growing in it, too.
Our local mastergrower, mr. Hans Christiansen from Orchidegartneriet in Fredensborg, swears to it. I think the idea for the mix originally stems from The Eric Young Foundation on Jersey. Hans might over the years have improved on it.
 
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SouthPark

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Ha I know you’re right but it goes deeper than that for me. I’m fundamentally opposed to hybridizing plants that do not have abundance in the wild. I’m angry about the abuses of the ignorant past and angry about the abuses of the knowing present. I try to keep this absurd, irrelevant horticultural morality to myself but it comes out regularly. And yet, I grow hybrids, of course. I get attached to them. They lead me back to the species whence they came.
Totally understanding of your point of view Brucher! The way I see it, or handle it ...... is that everything in the universe is 'natural' - including what's happening on this planet, and what people are doing. There certainly are situations that we see and define that - to us - don't appear 'good'. But the universe itself doesn't have eyes and ears etc. It's like an experiment thing going on. And whatever happens ...... just happens. Also - nothing lasts forever - including this planet - so we should just enjoy whatever nice things we can do (within good reason).

And there is no actual line between species and hybrid. If we take a look at just the human population on the planet ------ looking at the various groups/races of people from around the world ----- we end up multi-cultural group, mixed, along the lines of hybrids. And we should accept and treat all 'good' and nice people equally. I think the same thing about species and hybrids for orchids. And we also know there are natural hybrids out there anyway.

But yes - there are some 'dark' sides to orchid breeding. I have heard/seen breeders talk in ways - such as saying 'rubbish plant' --- and dumping/culling the ones that just so-happened to be taking up space and no more use for them in the breeding program. And even orchid breeders suggesting to growers that if an orchid doesn't look too strong or not growing too well, then get rid of it (dump it). I guess that's just part of the operations ----- and that's what they just have to do as their work/livelihood etc. I guess it is like that - being involved with certain work and operations hardens people, de-sensitises people. Sort of like the universe ----- it has no eyes and ears as such. There are dark sides for sure. But on the other hand - since people are able to define 'good' and 'bad' ...... I guess there is a lot of 'good' at least in the universe - from some of our own perspectives. There are at least good sorts out there - thank goodness for that.

I grow mainly (or mostly) with scoria in the tropics. Not necessarily the optimum medium for all of my orchids ----- but interestingly, in the tropics here --- all my orchids do just fine in scoria. I've attached pics of Sedirea japonica, Spathoglottis plicata, Encyclia radiata, and Dendrobium jenkinsii --- growing nicely in scoria. These are grown under a balcony and relatively medium to bright light conditions ----- sort of semi-outdoors. The leaves pretty much never get wet ----- not that I purposely don't wet them. I have no problem with them getting wet a little a bit. They dry pretty quickly in the growing area if they do get wet.

For these scoria-grown orchids - I just use a watering wand with spray nozzle to water the media mainly in the outskirt regions of the pot - toward the pot perimeter. I don't mind spraying some water further toward the central part of the pot as well ----- but much less water ---- sometimes none.

Regular plastic pots are used, all sitting on drainage grates. Nice gentle air-flow is in the growing area most of the time.

Regarding the nice idea of cooling the cymbidium at suitable times in attempts to trigger flower spikes. I think that is workable. I think it could be done. I may really get around to trying it out on a plant or two in the future. The main piece of needed equipment will be the cooling system - size and cost. Ignorning costs for cooling ------ I'm confident that it will be possible to get some spiking activity by cooling at the appropriate times and duration.
 

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BrucherT

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The walkerianas grow in a window facing East-Southeast, and because I live on the 5th floor they get quite some light during spring, summer and fall, not too bad in winter either - except for bleakest midwinter, where daylight sometimes only extends to the hours between 9 am and 15-16 pm (mainly very late November to mid January).

I grow my orchids in a non-organic medium, 'Greenmix', mainly consisting of rockwool (diabas), perlite and lignite, i.e. both waterabsorbing and waterrepellent material
When properly used, in a short while, a nice layer of moss will form on top of the medium... the medium shouldn't be allowed to dry out completely, but the waterrepellent elements should allow for air and some dryness for the roots. If used the right way, my impression is, that this medium helps the windowsill grower to somewhat keep up humidity.
Interestingly, some species, that are described as needing a marked rest periode to flower, do not need this, when grown in this medium, as f.ex. the few Dendrobium, I have.
My Catts see to grow well in the medium, but the plants from this genus are still so relatively new in my possesion, that I, when it comes to them, still consider myself in an experimental phase. Allthough I have so far succeeded in blooming C. aurantiaca and bowringiana.
My Sophronitis thrive in it, Bulbos love it. All my Paphs are growing in it, too.
Our local mastergrower, mr. Hans Christiansen from Orchidegartneriet in Fredensborg, swears to it. I think the idea for the mix originally stems from The Eric Young Foundation on Jersey. Hans might over the years have improved on it.
Your light seems about the same as mine. Noting that!

I’m liking the description of the mix. Just not a product I’ve come across. Will seek it out! I hoard weird potting supplies lol. Especially noted for Sophronitis, which I always wanted to try and got a very cheap, very tiny seedling of two years ago and lo, behold, it yet lives! It’s in king of an open terrarium with some slippers. Really astonishes me but it seems to thrive, but I know it’s still a ways from blooming. Greenmix! Got it. Can’t wait to see your blooms, looks like it will happen!
 

Phred

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Brucher are you growing under lights or a greenhouse? In my experience cattleyas won’t bloom on windowsills. I tried for 4 years and had beautiful foliage. I bought them in bloom, then they grew well, but no blooms. I moved them into an LED grow room and had spikes in 3 weeks.
I grow mini Cats in the window and they always bloom... depends on your exposure.
 

monocotman

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Agreed Phred. I can grow and flower light hogs like warscewiczii and lueddemanniana in the south facing windowsills of our house. It depends on your situation.
 

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